Michael Frayn’s rollicking British comedy about a live theatre company’s preparations for an upcoming show, Noises Off, is the finale production for the Langham Court Theatre season. It runs June 5 to 22. (David Lowes photo)

REVIEW: If you like farce, you’ll love Noises Off at Langham Court!

By Sheila Martindale

The nine cast members in Langham Court Theatre’s new show Noises Off deserve an A for effort!

For almost three exhausting hours they charge in and out of the eight doors on stage, creating muddles and mayhem, to the roars of approval from an enthusiastic opening night audience. When the show finishes on June 22, they will no doubt collapse with total exhaustion.

Jan Streader as the long-suffering housekeeper, and Andrew Weitzel as a young man conducting a clandestine affair are both outstanding comedians, and Jeff Kerrie takes the gold star for being able to jump up and downstairs with his trousers around his ankles. (Yes, it is that kind of play!)

Tess Kotchonoski plays an airheaded bimbo with authenticity, her voice so squeaky as to be almost incomprehensible. A newcomer to Victoria, Tess Weins appears as Poppy, doing a very competent job, and Kristin Pickup is marvelous as the gal who makes the best of a hilariously bad situation. Jon Hunwick and Toshik Bukowiecki are strong minor characters, and Alan Penty does a loud and efficient job as the director of this play-within-a-play.

The entire cast handles the complicated dialogue without missing a beat, at the same time as dashing around the rooms and up and downstairs without any false moves.

Playwright Michael Frayne has done a fabulous job of sending up the theatre with all its problems and difficulties, and though social behaviour has changed somewhat since Noises Off was first produced in 1982, the play in no way feels dated. The plot (if you can call it that!) revolves around a play being rehearsed and performed, with everything going wrong, and we see the action from the point of view of the audience and also as if we were backstage. There are three scenes, all about the same thing, all from different perspectives – very clever. If I had had my editor’s pen handy at the time the play was written, I would have shortened it by about an hour, as by 11 p.m. the audience was feeling as wrung out as the players.

A tip of the hat to Chris Clarke and Sally Crickman for an amazingly functional set that works from both back and the front, and to Jason King for the clever background sound, which is part of what makes Noises Off so funny. Congratulations to all the stage management people for efficient handling of scene changes, and special kudos to Don Keith, for the masterly direction of this whole mess!

If you like farce, you will love this one. Call 250-384-2142 for tickets or learn more at langhamtheatre.ca

Just Posted

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VicPD investigates stabbing near Selkirk Montessori school

Victim in potentially life-threatening condition

New wing opens at Victoria International Airport

The 19,000 sq. ft. passenger lounge can hold up to 500 people

Realtor pitches Langford’s third retail cannabis store

Local business owner Ron Cheeke prepares to open Honeycomb Cannabis

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Most Read